Meeting Notes

September 10, 2020
Meeting started at 6:30-8:30 p.m. CST
Meeting took place via Zoom
Fourth meeting of the task force
Actual meeting time: started at 6:35 p.m.-9:15 p.m.


Members Present: 
Task Force 
Austin City 

Agenda and Meeting Minutes

Community agreements from the last meeting sent out to the group via the facilitator. 


Welcome and Opening

Introduction of the newest member to the Task Force, the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance. Member introduced herself to the larger group. 


Governance and Trust Building

Prior to starting the governance conversation, the facilitator reviewed the community agreements with the group again, as a reminder for how to work together. Task Force members shared a final draft governance document that was worked on prior to this meeting. City members of the group saw this document for the first time when it was shared with the group in this meeting. 

A community member quickly gave an overview of the draft governance document. The group then started to discuss the role of co-chairs, who they should be, how they should be chosen, and what their roles would be within the group. The Task Force then started an open floor discussion of different components of the draft governance document. Members supported a hybrid public/private model, as outlined in the document. 

One member suggested a co-chair model that included one community member and one City member. This started a larger discussion that deterred from governance and veered into conversations around trust—trust among community group members, trust between the community and the City, and the questions around power dynamics. There are concerns around representation, leadership, and divides between community members and the City. The group wants to be productive and works towards actual solutions for reimagining public safety, but acknowledged some underlying fears and past history between the City and community. 

Members were given the opportunity to speak to these issues and were then redirected back to the task of governance. The group voted to keep moving forward on governance while still acknowledging there may be some unresolved issues and will address trust-building later.

Group then moved through the draft governance document, with the facilitator making changes as necessary to the document, with group approval. The changes are as follows to each article of the governance document. 

Article 1: Name and Membership 

Minor changed with wording to this section. The group discussed the role of alternates. They decided only one alternate should be allowed, per member. If other issues evolved with member participation, it would be discussed and voted on by the group. The group, after discussion, agreed to slightly edited version of Article 1. Group confers agreement on this section. 


Article 2: Responsibilities 

Section 1: Co Chairs: 
The Task Force discussed the previous suggestion of a City and Community member as co-chairs. They also discussed how a co-chair and facilitator structure would work. The facilitator would be more of an admin while leaving decision-making and agenda setting to the co-chairs. The group decided to let this section stand, allowing the group to nominate and vote on co-chairs, to make it as democratic as possible.  Group confers agreement on this section. 

Section 2: Procedure
Task Force agrees to use Robert’s Rules of Order as the procedure baseline. No disagreement. Section will stand as is. Group confers agreement on this section. 

Section 3: Voting 
Short discussion around voting on the agenda for each meeting. Voting is presented as a way to keep the agenda inclusive and not personalized or attached to the co-chairs. Group agrees. No changes to section 3 on voting. Group confers agreement on this section. 

Section 4: Work Groups 
The group discussed the provision around assigning one city member to each working group. There were concerns this could limit expertise and productivity of the working groups. Small edits made to language in this section, with a focus on intent to work with and around those most impacted. No other dissent from group. Group confers agreement on this edited section. 

Section 5: Public Meetings 
The Task Force discussed public meetings vs. listening sessions/working groups—differences and requirements for both. The group had questions around time for external communication of meetings, Task Force listening session requirements, and alignment with the City’s plan for public listening sessions. Conversation around interpretation requirements, streaming services, and cost, as the City would be responsible for this component of the public meetings. The Task Force also discussed the manner in which the public would submit questions and then receive feedback or answers on these questions. Few small language edits were made to this section, per suggestions from the group. The group voted to parking lot the interpretation component—as it specifically relates to time needed to secure interpreter(s). The City agrees to report back with interpretation time clarity and streaming service details. The group agrees meetings going forward will now be public, per this section of governance. After small edits to this section, the group agrees on all changes. Task Force confers agreement on this edited section and City follow up. 

Section 6: Advocacy and Communications
Small amendment made to language in this section, to account for respect and privacy of task force members. No dissent to change. Group confers agreement on the edited section. 


Community Agreements and Task Force Governance is confirmed by all the task force members. 


Co-Chairs and Facilitation: 

Group agrees to communicate outside of this meeting on nominations for co-chairs for the Task Force. They agree to vote on co-chairs at the beginning of the next meeting. The Task Force also agrees to create a working group to research facilitation and decide whether 21CP should stay on as facilitators. The working group is comprised of three members and will provide recommendations to the group. 

21CP will help with co-chair nomination process and will send out a calendar poll for the next meeting. After that, they will not be present for facilitation unless Task Force wants to bring them back on.


Agenda for the Next Meeting: Group Voted on Agenda

  • Co-Chair Nomination Presentation- 5 Minutes
  • Nominee Timed Statements- 15 Minutes
  • Co-Chair Vote
  • History of Policing Presentation- 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • Agenda Planning for Future Meeting- 10 Minutes